1. What is REI Women’s Business Center?
REI Women’s Business Center is a non-profit resource center for women
entrepreneurs. It is a cooperative agreement between the Small Business
Administration’s Office of Women Business Ownership and REI Oklahoma. REI WBC
provides business counseling services, business development workshops, and
networking opportunities. Partnering with a variety of city, state, and national
entities it provides the best possible guidance and resources for business owners.
2. I am a woman and think I want to start my own business. Where do I begin?
At REI WBC you can receive one-on-one business counseling as well as attend
business workshops. You will receive information on how to structure your
business; what licenses and permits are needed and where these can be
obtained; how to obtain a sales tax permit if one is needed; what is included in
a business plan and assistance in writing one; what sources of financing are
available for a small business and what should be done before approaching a
lender; and what is involved in marketing your business. At these workshops there
is the opportunity to network with other women entrepreneurs and learn how they
approached starting their business and pitfalls they encountered and overcame.
3. I have an existing business. What help can I expect from REI Women’s
Even if a business has been in existence for a few years or even several years,
there are things to be gained from any of the seminars and workshops. There
have been women at workshops who listen to a topic and get new ideas or new
motivation for doing something in a different way. There are workshops on
QuickBooks®, e-commerce and social media, and employee issues that are
appropriate for existing businesses. Additionally, there are events that allow the
business owner to showcase her business and market the service or products
she sells. And there is always the opportunity to network with other women
entrepreneurs and learn from each other.
4. What type of business development workshops does REI WBC provide?
Whether you are thinking of starting a business or already have an existing
business, our training workshops will help you with marketing, strategic planning,
website development as well as learning how to read financial statements, and
learning how to apply for business financing. Please check out our Events
Calendar to find out what workshops are available in your area. REI WBC
workshops also provide a great opportunity for networking and marketing your
business with other local entrepreneurs.
5. What is a “woman owned business”?
A woman owned business is one in which at least 51% of the business belongs to
a female or to two or more females. For example, a business in which 2 women
own 60% of the business and a man owns 40% of the business is a woman
owned business. A business in which a husband and wife each own 50% of the
business is an equally owned business. If two or more females own 100% of the
business, it is also considered a woman owned business.
6. Is there a national certification for a “Woman Owned Business” and if so, how do I get certified?
There is a Small Business Administration (SBA) certification for a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB). REI Women’s Business Center is able to assist with the certification process and discuss the guidelines and requirements for the certifications.
The Oklahoma Department of Commerce also has a Woman-Owned Business Certification and the application is available online. REI WBC staff is available to assist with this application process as well.